HiBy YVAIN Review——Moonstarreviews

tulupi

The Original article

Introduction:

HiBy was established in 2011 and is specialized in research, development and sales of Hi-Fi grade portable audio products such like Digital Audio Players, USB / BT DAC’s and Earphones. HiBy has also an experienced software team that has developed HiBy OS which is also one of the most widely used professional portable audio Operating Systems (OS) on the market.

The HiBy Yvain is the latest In-Ear Monitor of the company that is equipped with a Quad-BA Structure arranged together in a three-way frequency crossover that consist of 1x Knowles CI-30120 Non-damper BA dedicated for the Bass, 2x Sonion 2389D Customized Full-ranged BA’s for the Midrange and 1x Knowles WBFK33518 Hi-res Tweeter that is responsible for the Highs. The Yvain comes with a 3-way Independent Acoustic Chamber that is located inside a Medical grade 3D Printing monitor shell with a CNC Machined Fully Enclosed Isolation Design. It features a fully Balanced Litz wire detachable cable made of High Purity PCOCC (Pure Copper by Ohno Continuous Casting) Copper material with a 0.78 Two-pin sockets interface.

The Tale of The Knight Of The Lion

The Tale of The Knight Of The Lion:

The IEM is named after the classic 12th-century novel “Yvain, the Knight of the Lion”, which describes the heroic tale of the medieval knight Yvain. He faced a dilemma between fulfilling his promise to his beloved and pursuing his personal mission. In his self-imposed exile, he rediscovered the meaning of the line, and the young lion he saved became his loyal companion on his adventures.

The Tale of The Knight Of The Lion 2

Disclaimer:

I would like to thank HiBy for providing me the Yvain IEM as review sample. I am not affiliated with HiBy beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered, opinions about the product.

 

Price & Availability:

The actual suggested retail price of the HiBy Yvain In-Ear Monitors is 239.00 US$. More information’s can be found under the link below;

 

Package & Accessories:

The HiBy Yvain came inside a relative large rectangular black box that has a nice looking decorative cardboard sleeve in form of a Lion.

Package & Accessories of HiBy Yvain IEM
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Inside the box of the HiBy Yvain are the following contents/accessories;

  • 1 pair x HiBy Yvain In-Ear Monitors
  • 3 pairs x High Transparent Silicone Ear Tips
  • 3 pairs x Memory Foam Ear Tips
  • 1 x Detachable OCC Copper Cable with 2-Pin Connectors and Modular Plug Design
  • 1 x 3.5mm SE 4Pin Headphone Plug Adapter
  • 1 x 4.4mm Balanced 4Pin Headphone Plug Adapter
  • 1 x Crash & Shock Resistance Storage Case
  • 1 x Carabineer
  • 1 x Cleaning Brush
  • 1 x User Guide & Warranty
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Design & Build Quality:

HiBy Yvain is a stylish looking In-Ear Monitor that features a sleek and very lightweight monitor shells made from medical-grade 3D printed resin material. The medical-grade resin cavities feature CNC-machined aluminum alloy face covers with a finely engraved Lion logo, which is one of the main design highlights that symbolizes “Yvain, the Knight of the Lion”.

Design & Build Quality of HiBy Yvain IEM

The HiBy Yvain is equipped with a Quad-BA Structure arranged together in a three-way frequency crossover. This means that there are four balanced armature (BA) drivers in each monitor, each dedicated to a specific frequency range. The Knowles CI-30120 Non-damper BA is responsible for the bass, the two Sonion 2389D Customized Full-ranged BA’s handle the midrange, and the Knowles WBFK33518 Hi-res Tweeter takes care of the highs.

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The inner surface of each monitor sports a short metal nozzle that does have a mesh on the top.

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On the top of the monitors is a 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin interface in order to connect the detachable cable.

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At the rear side of each monitor shell is a branding. The left earpiece has the Hiby, while the right one has the Yvain branding on the top.

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HiBy Yvain comes with a detachable cable that is made of high purity PCOCC (Pure Copper by Ohno Continuous Casting) Copper wire material. It has a Litz Type 4 Coaxial balanced design that offers low internal resistance, low distortion and also protects the signal from external interferences

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The cable adopts standard 0.78mm connectors with a metal housing that hast L / R makings on its surface.

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The cable has a swappable 4Pin termination plug system that comes with 1x 3.5mm single-ended and 1x 4.4mm balanced plug adaptor. The adaptors do have L profiled metal housing with the HiBy branding on top.

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The 4Pin swappable headphone plug adapters do have a special screwing system.

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The cable and the monitors are made of high-quality materials, giving a feeling of elegance and strength that matches the HiBy Yvain’s sonic performance.

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Fit, Comfort & Isolation:

The HiBy Yvain’s monitor shells are impressively lightweight and feature a comfortable semi-custom shape. This design choice, coupled with the use of lightweight resin material, makes the Yvain ideal for extended listening sessions (approx 2-3 hours). The monitors also have good passive noise isolation, which can reduce noise by up to -26dB. This is enough for moderately noisy environments like buses or trains.

Fit, Comfort & Isolation of HiBy Yvain IEM

Drivability:

The HiBy Yvain has an impedance of 23 ohms and a sensitivity of 116 dB, which makes it an ideal earphone for the use with relatively weak sources like smartphones, tablets or USB DAC dongles.

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Technical Specifications:

  • Model                          : YVAIN
  • Drivers Configuration  : Tweeters: Knowles WBFK33518 Hi-res BA x 1 / Mids: Sonion 2389D Customized BA x 2                                                                           Woofers: Knowles CI-30120 Non-damper BA x 1
  • Impedance                  : 23 ohm
  • Frequency Response : 20-40,000Hz
  • Sensitivity                   : 116dB/mW
  • Max Input Power        : 100mW
  • THD                            : <1%
  • Wire Material              : PCOCC Copper
  • Cable Length              : approx 125cm
  • Socket                        : 0.78mm Dual-pin / Detachable
  • Weight (Monitors)      : 4.7g (Each Side)
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Equipment’s used for this review:

  • IEM’s                          : HiBy Yvain, SeeAudio Bravery
  • DAP/DAC/AMP          : HiBy R6 Pro II, HiBy R3 II
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Albums & tracks used for this review:

  • Adele – My Little Love (Tidal)
  • Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album (Dezzer HiFi)
  • Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Sonya Yoncheva – (Giuseppe Verdi) II Trovatore, ActI (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • George Michael – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Elton John – Rocket Man ((Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • B. King – Riding With The King (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Muse – Hysteria (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Rush – YYZ (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers – Nobody Weird Like Me (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Bear McCreary’s – Valkyries (Deezer HiFi)
  • Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Daft Punk – Doin’ it Right (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Jo Blankenburg – Meraki (Spotify)
  • Lorde – Royals (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
  • Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Gogo Penguin – Murmuration (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
  • Max Richter – On the Nature of Daylight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Ferit Odman – Look, Stop & Listen (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
  • Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)
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The Sound:

The HiBy Yvain is an IEM with a pretty balanced sound signature that offers a linear bass response, quite natural and detailed midrange and treble presentation with good sense of presence and transparency. The Yvain stands out in terms of coherence, dynamics, and musicality.

The review was written after a burn-in for about 50 hours and is based on my sound experiences paired with sources like the HiBy R6 Pro II & HiBy R3 II Digital AUdio Players.

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Bass / Midrange / Treble / Soundstage & Imaging:

The YVAIN’s bass, handled by a single Knowles CI-30120 balanced armature driver, is well-controlled, textured, and balanced between sub-bass and mid-bass. While it doesn’t offer the thumping intensity that might satisfy bassheads, it provides ample punch and rumble to complement genres like Jazz, Blues, and Acoustic music. The sub-bass region delivers an adequate amount of rumble and intensity, allowing you to feel the deep vibrations of Bear McCreary’s “Valkyries,” Lorde’s “Royals,” and Jo Blankenburg’s “Meraki.” It’s not overpowering, but rather adds some sense of depth and richness to the overall presentation.

The mid-bass takes center stage, providing a nicely highlighted, controlled, and fast response of the lower frequency region. The absence of a mid-bass hump or muddiness ensures a clear and well-defined presentation, preventing unwanted coloration or distortion. The mid-bass presence also lends additional weight and impact to the music.

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The HiBy Yvain has a relative upfront oriented midrange presentation that sounds quite transparent, natural and detailed thanks to the well tuned balanced armature drivers, which are two Sonion 2389D units. The midrange is the star of the Yvain delivering pretty rich, expressive, and engaging vocal and instrument presentation. The midrange shows a mildly amount of warmness that is produced in the lower midrange area. Male vocals from Isaac Hayes to Elton John are reproduced in a quite emotional and clear manner.

The upper midrange of the Yvain is more highlighted and detailed compared to the lower midrange, offering a good level of presence, detail retrieval, and extension, without being sibilant or harsh. Female vocals such as Sarah McLachlan, Adele, Diana Krall, and Sertap Erener sound pretty natural and realistic. The instrument tonality shows a good balance, avoiding both thinness and excessive thickness. Electric guitars, for instance, exhibit a touch of brightness while maintaining adequate body and extension. Violins and pianos, on the other hand, display good extension and a pleasing level of detail.

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The HiBy Yvain’s treble range, delivered by a single Knowles WBFK33518 BA driver, shows a balance between smoothness and presence, rendering a nicely textured and technically proficient treble performance for an IEM in this price range. The lower treble region exhibits a gentle emphasis compared to the upper treble, which gradually rolls off above 8kHz. This overall relaxed yet detailed treble presentation makes the Yvain an ideal companion for extended listening sessions, avoiding both harshness and excessive dullness.

The transitions from the upper midrange to the lower treble are well-defined and authoritative, particularly noticeable during the reproduction of instruments like cymbals, pianos, or electric guitars, especially at higher volume levels. The lower treble region of the Yvain effectively conveys a sense of definition and extension, while the upper treble register adds an appropriate touch of airiness and sparkle. The overall treble presentation complements the rest of the sound spectrum with an admirable balance and refinement.

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The HiBy Yvain has a relative wide, spacious and realistic soundstage environment, particularly decent given its forward and intimate vocal and instrument presentation. The instruments and vocals are well-separated and positioned accurately across the stage. Moreover, the Yvain offers also has a relative precise and coherent imaging that allows the listener to locate and identify each sound source.

 

Comparison:

HiBy Yvain versus SeeAudio Bravery:

The SeeAudio Bravery exhibits a more pronounced coloration in the lower frequency range compared to the HiBy Yvain, which delivers a more linear and balanced overall bass response. The Bravery boasts a punchier and more impactful presence in this region, while the Yvain excels in clarity, texture, and speed, particularly in the midbass register.

The Yvain’s more forward midrange presentation accentuates vocals and instruments, lending an intimate listening experience. Both IEMs offer commendable clarity and resolution, with the Yvain gaining an edge in capturing the subtle nuances of human vocals and acoustic instruments due to its emphasized midrange tuning especially in the upper midrange area. This tuning results in a more natural and enjoyable listening experience in this frequency range when I do switch to the Yvain.

The HiBy Yvain’s slightly laid-back treble response contrasts with the SeeAudio Bravery’s brighter treble, imparting a smoother and less fatiguing sound profile. The lower treble region of both IEMs exhibits a similar sense of presence and extension, while the Bravery unveils more airiness and brilliance in the upper treble register.

Both the HiBy Yvain and the SeeAudio Bravery create a natural and spacious soundstage ambiance with excellent instrument and vocal separation. The Yvain’s soundstage is marginally wider, while the Bravery excels in depth.

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Conclusion:

The HiBy Yvain is a meticulously crafted IEM that delivers a balanced and engaging sonic experience. Its quad-BA structure produces a cohesive and detailed sound across the entire frequency spectrum, and the fully balanced Litz wire detachable cable with its modular plug design further enhances audio transmission and fidelity. The HiBy Yvain’s overall performance is characterized by coherence, dynamics, and musicality, making it an exceptional choice for discerning audiophiles seeking a truly enjoyable listening experience.

 

Pros & Cons:

  • + Balanced and Engaging Sound
  • + Coherence, Dynamics, and Musicality
  • + Eye-Catching Faceplate Design
  • + Decent Fit & Comfort
  • + Rich Set of Accessories
  • + Modular Plug Design

 

  • – Not for those who prefer an Analytical Sound Profile
  • – Isolation material makes the cable feel a bit stiff
  • – Hard to find any other remarkable negatives